Blog 2016

December 2016

This month, no blog, On another page the Christmas wish

November 2016

Before winter comes we have to prepare the garden and the plants to survive the cold. We cover them with leaves and coconut stuff (amazing , isn't it coconut in Germany) and hope the new plants will survive winter. Cutting branches, harvesting whatever we can and dry the seeds for next season. In spring we want to grow a lot of flowers to feed the bees, we are planning to keep. That is a new challenge, Beekeeping! Maybe we can have some honey of our "own property".

On the afternoon of the 3rd of November Henk all of a sudden Cried SHEEEP!!!!. On our road there where over a thousand sheep, running uphill!! With them, 50 goats and 2 donkeys!! And all of them eating OUR fresh PLANTS!!! The shepherd was walking in front of them with a couple of dogs, not looking back! In the middle a young woman (hands in her pockets) saying : I´m not responsible! and afterwards a young man in a car who didn't know what to say but "Ask the chief." This whole thing made us angry ! We made several phone calls and discussed it with the shepherd who came by the next day. Even the Hunter , who pays for an allowance to hunt in this area, came over and made his point.

The next day the sheep went downhill, this time after putting up a temporary fence to prevent the sheep from eating our plants. We helped them to cross the street . A lot of pictures are available in the gallery .

On the 7th of November we had a lot of snow! What would have happened to the sheep if they had to come down the mountain at that day??? So, now winter is there, skiing in the higher regions was possible for a couple of days. At this moment it is raining, the roads are Iced!! Even on foot it is dangerous, the animals do not walk outside the stable and we are starting up our inside hobbies . (painting, building ship models and so on) This is the last Blog for this year, in about two weeks we will upload the Christmas wish. In 2017 there will be another Blog, there is always something we can talk about.

October 2016

Autumn started with rain and wind. Despite that we can plant trees and bushes at the sides of the sewage plant. First night frost was on October 10th , the meadow was white for the first time since April. Next to the house everything stayed green, because the coldest winds come from the North and the house is functioning as a windshield..

This month best news!!!!.... Otto our Donkey has a new friend. His name is Jonas and is also a very friendly animal ( Pictures) Now they have to get used to each other. Otto has been without a friend for half a year and feels like he is a Llama . After just one week Jonas adapted to the herd. They accept him as a member of the family.

A little overview of the crops we had.

product

pieces/plants

weight

large beans

4 Kg

rhubarb

1

2 Kg

green beans

50 Kg eaten and preserved

onions

2 Kg

pumpkin

45

ca. 50 Kg

brussels sprouts

2

mais

15

leek

15

tomato

15Kg

peas

10Kg

cellery

20 St

berries

10 Ltr juice, 2 Kg naschen und Nachtisch

Futter Beete (don´t know the english word)

20 St

apples

2 Kg

Last day of harvest

24- 10-2016

1 bucket filled with

tomatoes

500 Gr. raspberries

First year plants (Wild bushes and trees)

5

Seedlings to grow(Blauglockenbaum)

25

Seeds for flowers (species)

80 packages

and also 3 x 100 gr: of Futterbeete, Stockrosen, Sunflowers

The Wwoofers 2016

Request and country

Came

Stayed for(days)

Age

Prepared their trip

6 Europ

5

10-28

20-41, most of them under 30

4: Ireland, Ungary, Germany,France

1 Africa

no

30

2 USA

no

22

1 Japan

no

22

Our goals this month.

Crops in the house as winter supply ( Potatoes, Winterfood for the birds, Firewood and so on) Winter tyres mounted on the cars (Law in Germany)

Trees, bushes and other plants covered with straw against freezing.

Put the pyjama on the Greenhouses. (A cover to keep he green house free from freezing temp.) so we can save the plants that cannot stand freezing Temp.

The last few days there are a lot of mushrooms. A lot of them can be eaten, we don´t trust that, so we just take pictures.

September 2016

The weather in the first half of this month felt like summer. We had a lot of things on our to-do list and where very happy the sewage plant was build at the date as promised. Now we could finish all the jobs that had to wait until that was done. We put the big water containers at the other side of the road, so we can put the pump to water the garden next to it, without any water hoses or electricity cables on the road.

After the 16th there are a lot of days with rain. We are happy with that, because we didn´t have a lot of water last few weeks. The plants need it very much. The only thing that changed is the cold nights.

The last few weeks Annette has moved and planted a lot of bushes, everywhere. In the vegetable garden, the flower garden, on the hill. She is waiting for some delivery of trees and bushes, that is only possible after the growing season, when the leaves are off.

Part of the vegetable garden is already dunged, with the dung from our Llamas and donkey. After that we covered the soil, to prevent the weeds from growing.

With the cold nights the meadow gets white from early frost. In the morning the sun makes it look like steaming clouds. Very good for the grass, so it will keep on growing and the animals can use that, Hopefully it´ll stay like this till November.

August 2016

August started as July ended. Low temperature and a lot of rain. Despite of that we kept producing firewood. We need that this winter for the stove.

The haystack was filled up, every time the farmer called and we went over to get 80 bails of hey. This year we don´t have to worry about enough food for the animals,

Quite a difference with last year, in every way. Last year we moved over here, in a very hot and dry period. No internet access until the half of October, Weeds everywhere, because nobody worked in the garden for many years.

This summer started late, but temperature rose till 34 Degrees (C) The vegetables grew very good and we where very happy we could water them from our own well. Till the30th of August! Then the water was gone!. WE NEED RAIN! In a village (10 kilometres) it rained like crazy, nothing where we live! The only thing that survived the slugs attacks are the beans. At this moment we already had 25 Kg, we ate and put them in the freezer. There is more to come. There is only one sunflower that survived, so not very much for winter food for the birds, we will have to buy that.

The meadow downhill is very useful at the moment. As long it is not raining and the path uphill gets to slippery, the animals can stay there all day.

Our to-do list is getting shorter, maybe we can finish it before winter. That would be very nice. We can start with a clean list in spring. As always, there will be a lot of new work to do then. In a couple of weeks we will get the water hoses and the pump (which needs to be restored) in. A nice winter job. All of the water containers have been placed somewhere on the property and can be filled with rainwater. This month we took some pictures, you can see here.

July 2016

This month we had Super Wwoofers! With heir help we got a lot of (heavy) work done. First there was this lovely young Hungarian women. She wanted to practice her German language, which was a great success. She fell in love with Otto, although she liked all the animals. After she left a young man from Ireland was our guest. They both helped in the garden, weed picking, dung, and so on. They did other jobs, like cleaning the stable, painting, chopping firewood and many other things. In the greenhouse the tomato plants start growing, hopefully we will have a lot of tomatoes in a couple of weeks.

What a difference, last year weeds everywhere, this year, flowers and vegetables! The Bergstrasse is not just wild trees and blueberries, a lot of flowers and new trees at our side of the road are growing. At the end of the month the shepherd came by with his herd (second time this year) The sheep ran uphill like running machines. They have eaten the grass on top of the mountain and went on after 12 hours. We made a lot of pictures.

Somebody told us: at the other side of the valley (in the mountains) live a species of wild sheep. The traffic/ road and stream (Biber) keep them from coming to this side! We don´t mind, because they can ruin quite a lot and they can multiply quickly too at the best part of the valley!

June 2016

In Mai, they say, the birds are laying eggs. Probably in Thüringen it will rather be June, because in the mountains summer is starting now. There are a lot of different birds in our area and in the morning they are twittering like.... One little bird build its nest in a hole in the outside wall of the house. They are keeping an eye on us, while we are painting the wall and the doors. When we are gone for a minute they get in and feed the young birds.

This month we had strange weather. Thunderstorms, cloudy, hot and during these hot days the Tomato plants fell over. When it is raining, we would like to have our animals in the stable, so they don't get soaking wet. Especially after the Llamas have been shaved it is important they get in the stable in time. With some exercise and little biscuits and whistling we taught them to come in when we want them to. Some days they start doing this on their own (wishful thinking?). They seem to have adapted to this new home, like WE did after almost a year. Still we have to get used to the climate.

In the vegetable garden plants are not growing as fast as we where used to. When they have, the slugs come and eat them before there are enough leaves to keep them alive. It is a struggle! What will the garden bring us at the end?

Every day we start opening the gate to the meadow, let the cats go out and.... collecting a bucket full of slugs. Hopefully there will not be a lot of bugs as well. The only thing we could eat from the garden is peas. Slugs ruin all salad, carrots and onions. So we had to replant a lot of vegetables and hope for the best. Because of our health we had some major jobs done by professionals, part of the roof was repaired (a complete new cover) A haystack had been build, so we don't have to climb two stairs every week to get hay. It´s a pity we are not 10 years younger, we would have done all construction jobs ourselves.

Another thing we have to get replaced is the sewage plant. The one we use is working perfectly, but European laws tell the people they have to build new ones, with bubbles or other technique that can be measured or regulated by standards all the time !! Just crazy and the most remarkable thing is, it will cost us double the price as it did in the northern part of Germany! We know we can do nothing against it, because out there we had the same thing happening a couple of years ago. Another amazing story about this: In the north we planned, asked some companies to make an offer, decided, build it in 6 weeks and started using it. In Thüringen the same procedure(paperwork) took half a year and when they will be here to build it? maybe end of the summer. (when we are lucky)

Despite of all the crazy stuff, we start feeling a little bit at " home". Sometimes we think about the beautiful garden in the north and the plants and bushes we couldn't take with us. In common we feel very well over here and don't regret our decision to move here.

May 2016

The lovely spring temperatures only stay a few days. After the Icy period to half of May, which passed without frost, it takes time to start up the greenlife again. In the greenhouse however the process is going, although with our taking plants out in the morning and have them back in again in the early evening. It is a lot of work, but the only way to keep them alive.The plants that just popped out are doing very well. Some of them are allready out in the garden standing very brave with just 2 cm length...... The only problem is.......... SlugsS!!! They are everywhere in the garden, as if they found out we have many fresh leaves they can eat.

Within 4 days the snails have taken a bite of: Salat, cabbage, Pumpkins carrots..... We have other plants growing in the greenhouse, but is that the solution?? Keep them inside until they are not interesting for snails? Collecting snails twice a day seems to be the only acceptable solution. The tomato plants are growing well and on may 20 I brought them in a special tent. They will stay there , protected against rain and wind and ..snails? If anyone has a good idea for protection??? Please send an email. We are worried about the harvest for this year, because we need that for winter. The last weekend of may there are a lot of thunderstorms. Not at our small village, although the last view days we had a lot of rain. Good for the plants, but it also seems to activate the snails. Hopefully it will ever stop (both the rain and the snails. There are some new pictures on the picture page.

February 2016

The Winter began half of December. Since then we had 3 periods of heavy snow and frost. The layer of snow reached just our knees, so it was not that bad at all. After a week or so we thought: it is time for a different type of weather, some sunshine would be nice. The snow melted away, for the best part, we had a really nice sunny day and hoped for more.

A frosty night came and all was covered with snow again. That happened 3 times till now. It is getting warmer, no severe low temperatures. But at the moment we start thinking about working in the garden, we might have some hours to enjoy, then another snowy cloud reaches our mountain. And we go back inside: again.

Of course, we have a lot of jobs inside. At the first floor we painted all the doors and wood that go with them. That is a lot, there are 4 doors that lead to rooms and 2 that go outside or to the next floor! Very old fashioned a door to the upper floor and attic, but a door that keeps the cold away from the attic is marvelous. So the second floor is almost ready, all the marks from the move are gone and nice bright colors cover the walls.

We just wait for the carpenter, who will install a new door to the hobby room. We saved 2 old stained glass windows, one will be put into a door to the hobby room, the other one goes to the living downstairs. All that kind of work is very rewarding, but the garden needs attention. At all the windows in the house are seedlings that grow till the time they can grow outside. The season is shorter for frosty nights till May. The tomatoes will grow in a special tent to keep low temperatures out. They are just few inches and have plenty of time to grow safely inside. We just have to experiment what is possible (or not) in this area.. The garden plan is ready, we just wait for some nice temperatures and sunshine. The real big job that needs to be done is a new fence. A Wwoofer from France will come and help us with that coming weeks.